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date: 18 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the physical and psychological aspects of musical performance that will not only optimize individual performances but will assist the musician to enjoy a long and sustainable career in the music profession, unencumbered by the myriad health issues that can afflict a professional musician. The first half of the chapter focuses on the types of physical injuries that are common in musicians and discusses the available evidence-based treatments. Importantly, strategies for prevention are also considered, as a significant group of musicians, once injured, do not enjoy a complete recovery. The second part of the chapter discusses one of the major psychological stressors—music performance anxiety (MPA)—which, in its severe form, can end musical careers. MPA can exacerbate physical discomfort and injury because it generates its own quota of muscle tension. Current theories of etiology and best practice treatments are discussed.

Keywords: performing musicians, physical health, injuries and injury prevention, music performance anxiety, psychological treatments, optimizing performance

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